“To say that in a planned society the Rule of Law cannot hold is, therefore, not to say that the actions of the government will not be legal or that such a society will necessarily be lawless. It means only that the use of the government’s coercive powers will no longer be limited and determined by pre-established rules. The law can, and to make a central direction of economic activity possibly must, legalise what to all intents and purposes remains arbitrary action. If the law says that such a Board or Authority may do what it pleases, anything that Board or Authority does is legal – but its actions are certainly not subject to the Rule of Law. By giving the government unlimited powers the most arbitrary rule can be made legal: and in this way a democracy may set up the most complete despotism imaginable.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), pp. 85-86.
“As soon as the particular effects are foreseen at the time a law is made, it ceases to be a mere instrument to be used by the people and becomes instead an instrument used by the law-giver upon the people and for his ends. The state ceases to be a piece of utilitarian machinery intended to help individuals in the fullest development of their individual personality and becomes a “moral” institution – where “moral” is not used in contrast to immoral, but describes an institution which imposes on its members its views on all moral questions, whether these views be moral or highly immoral.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 80.
“There is no justification for the belief that so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary; the contrast suggested by this statement is altogether false: it is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary. Democratic control may prevent power from becoming arbitrary, but it does not do so by its mere existence. If democracy resolves on a task which necessarily involves the use of power which cannot be guided by fixed rules, it must become arbitrary power. (Emphasis not added)” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 74.
“When it becomes dominated by a collectivist creed, democracy will inevitably destroy itself.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 73.
“[Adolf] Hitler did not have to destroy democracy [when he came to power in 1933]; he merely took advantage of the decay of democracy and at the critical moment obtained the support of many to whom, though they detested Hitler, he yet seemed the only man strong enough to get things done.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 71.
“The effect of the people agreeing that there must be central planning, without agreeing on the ends, will be rather as if a group of people were to commit themselves to take a journey together without agreeing where they want to go: with the result that they may all have to make a journey which most of them do not want at all.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 65.
“The movement for planning owes its present strength largely to the fact that, while planning is in the main still an ambition, it unites almost all the single-minded idealists, all the men and women who have devoted their lives to a single task. The hopes they place in planning, however, are not the result of a comprehensive view of society, but rather of a very limited view, and often the result of a great exaggeration of the importance of the ends they place foremost. This is not to underrate the great pragmatic value of this type of men in a free society like ours, which makes them the subject of just admiration. But it would make the very men who are most anxious to plan society the most dangerous if they were allowed to do so – and the most intolerant of the planning of others. From the saintly and single-minded idealist to the fanatic is often but a step.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 57.
“The illusion of the specialist that in a planned society he would secure more attention to the objectives for which he cares most is a more general phenomenon than the term of specialist at first suggests. In our predilections and interests we are all in some measure specialists. And we all think that our personal order of values is not merely personal, but that in a free discussion among rational people we would convince the others that ours is the right one… But, of course, the adoption of the social planning for which they clamour can only bring out the concealed conflict between their aims.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), pp. 56-57.
“In much of the current discussion on the effects of technological progress this progress is presented to us as if it were something outside us which could compel us to use the new knowledge in a particular way. While it is true, of course, that inventions have given us tremendous power, it is absurd to suggest that we must use this power to destroy our most precious inheritance: liberty. It does mean, however, that if we want to preserve it, we must guard it more jealously than ever and that we must be prepared to make sacrifices for it. While there is nothing in modern technological developments which forces us towards comprehensive economic planning, there is a great deal in them which makes infinitely more dangerous the power a planning-authority would possess.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), pp. 54-55.
“It is no exaggeration to say that if we had had to rely on conscious central planning for the growth of our industrial system, it would never have reached the degree of differentiation, complexity, and flexibility it has attained. Compared with this method of solving the economic problem by means of decentralisation plus automatic co-ordination, the more obvious method of central direction is incredibly clumsy, primitive, and limited in scope.” – F. A. Hayek, The Road to Serfdom (New York: Routledge Classics, 1944/2001), p. 52.